This is the first in a three part series of frequently asked questions about Reverse Mortgage. Find Part 2 here and Part 3 here. If you have questions that are not currently listed, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
Are There Any Special Requirements to Get a Reverse Mortgage?
In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must own your home, be at least 62 years old, and have some equity in your home. In early 2015 the FHA implemented new rules requiring lenders to consider credit and income for each applicant, similar to a traditional mortgage, the purpose being to minimize possible defaults due to the inability to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance. But unlike a traditional mortgage, if potential borrowers do not meet this criteria, there are still options through a Fully-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside, which is an amount drawn under the HECM that is reserved for payment of property taxes and insurance by the lender; or a Partialy-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside which works the same as the Fully-Funded option except a smaller reserve is drawn when borrowers meet credit requirements but not income requirements. The amount of both of these reserves is determined by the age of the borrower and the value of the home.
How Much Money Can I Get?
In general, the older you are (or the youngest borrower in the case of married couples) and the more valuable your home, the more money you can get. Other factors also come into play, such as: the appraised home value, interest rates, and the amount of equity in your home.
Does My Home Qualify?
Eligible properties include single-family homes, 2-4 unit properties, modular homes, condominiums, and townhouses. This home must also be your primary residence.
What are My Payment Plan Options?
Funds from a reverse mortgage can be received as fixed monthly payments for a set term or for as long as you live in the home, as a line of credit which allows you to draw on the loan proceeds at any time, a lump sum, or a combination of all these. Reverse mortgage can also be used to purchase a home wrapping the purchase the home with a reverse mortgage loan.
How Can I Use the Proceeds from a Reverse Mortgage?
Their are no restrictions as to how the proceeds from a reverse mortgage can be used. Whether it is to supplement retirement income, to cover your living expenses, to repair/modify your home, to pay for medical expenses, pay off existing debts, or simply do something for nice yourself, no one can tell you how you must spend your money.
Janis Layman is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Shoreline areas of Washington. Contact Janis and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.